34 Facts About Lord Shiva

1. Lord Shiva is the Supreme Being in Shaivism, one of the major traditions within Hinduism.

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2. Lord Shiva is known as "The Destroyer" within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity which includes Brahma and Vishnu.

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3. Lord Shiva is one of the five equivalent deities in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta tradition of Hinduism.

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4. Iconographical attributes of Lord Shiva are the serpent around his neck, the adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the third eye on his forehead, the trishula or trident as his weapon, and the damaru drum.

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5. Lord Shiva is usually worshipped in the aniconic form of lingam.

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6. Lord Shiva is a pan-Hindu deity, revered widely by Hindus in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

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7. Some authors associate the name with the Tamil word meaning "red", noting that Lord Shiva is linked to the Sun and that Rudra is called Babhru (brown, or red) in the Rigveda.

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8. The Shri Rudram Chamakam, known as the Satarudriya, is a devotional hymn to Lord Shiva hailing him by many names.

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9. How the persona of Lord Shiva converged as a composite deity is not well documented, a challenge to trace and has attracted much speculation.

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10. Similarly, the use of phallic symbol as an icon for Lord Shiva is found for Irish, Nordic, Greek and Roman deities, as was the idea of this aniconic column linking heaven and earth among early Indo-Aryans, states Roger Woodward.

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11. Nevertheless, both Rudra and Lord Shiva are akin to Wodan, the Germanic God of rage and the wild hunt.

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12. Term Lord Shiva appears simply as an epithet, that means "kind, auspicious", one of the adjectives used to describe many different Vedic deities.

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13. In medieval sculpture, both Agni and the form of Lord Shiva known as Bhairava have flaming hair as a special feature.

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14. The Svetasvatara Upanishad set the tone for early Shaivite thought, especially in chapter 3 verse 2 where Lord Shiva is equated with Brahman: "Rudra is truly one; for the knowers of Brahman do not admit the existence of a second".

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15. Shaivas believe that Lord Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is.

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16. Lord Shiva is the primal Self, the pure consciousness and Absolute Reality in the Shaiva traditions.

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17. The Trika sub-tradition developed a theology of triads involving Lord Shiva, combined it with an ascetic lifestyle focusing on personal Lord Shiva in the pursuit of monistic self-liberation.

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18. Lord Shiva is the Lord of Yogis, and the teacher of Yoga to sages.

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19. Lord Shiva is depicted as both an ascetic yogi and as a householder, roles which have been traditionally mutually exclusive in Hindu society.

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20. Lord Shiva's is identified with Devi, the Divine Mother; Shakti as well as goddesses like Tripura Sundari, Durga, Kali, Kamakshi and Minakshi.

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21. The consorts of Lord Shiva are the source of his creative energy.

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22. Linga Purana states, "Lord Shiva is signless, without color, taste, smell, that is beyond word or touch, without quality, motionless and changeless".

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23. Oldest known archaeological linga as an icon of Lord Shiva is the Gudimallam lingam from 3rd-century BCE.

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24. In Shaivism pilgrimage tradition, twelve major temples of Lord Shiva are called Jyotirlinga, which means "linga of light", and these are located across India.

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25. Lord Shiva is conceptualized as a kind spiritual teacher, the first of all Gurus in Indonesian Hindu texts, mirroring the Dakshinamurti aspect of Shiva in the Indian subcontinent.

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26. Worship of Lord Shiva became popular in Central Asia through the influence of the Hephthalite Empire and Kushan Empire.

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27. Lord Shiva is clad in tiger skin while his attendants are wearing Sogdian dress.

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28. Lord Shiva is mentioned in the Buddhist Tantras and worshipped as the fierce deity Mahakala in Vajrayana, Chinese Esoteric, and Tibetan Buddhism.

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29. In Mahayana Buddhism, Lord Shiva is depicted as Maheshvara, a deva living in Akanishta Devaloka.

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30. In Vajrayana Buddhism, Lord Shiva is depicted as Mahakala, a dharma protecting Bodhisattva.

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31. In most forms of Buddhism, the position of Lord Shiva is lesser than that of Mahabrahma or Sakra Indra.

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32. In Mahayana Buddhist texts, Lord Shiva becomes a buddha called Bhasmeshvara Buddha ("Buddha of ashes").

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33. Statue of Lord Shiva depicted as a Chinese Buddhist deva on Mount Putuo Guanyin Dharma Realm in Zhejiang, China.

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34. In contemporary culture, Lord Shiva is depicted in art, films, books, tattoos, etc.

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